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December 14, 2012

North Andover man guilty on 16 child-porn counts

SALEM — With his head bent down and his voice barely audible, John Mosher pleaded guilty to 16 counts of child pornography offenses in Superior Court yesterday afternoon.

Mosher, 24, of 7 Wild Rose Drive, North Andover, was sentenced to five months in Middleton jail and five years of probation by Judge Howard Whitehead. He will begin his sentence Jan. 3.

Mosher was charged with one count of dissemination of child pornography and 15 counts of possession of child pornography.

Assistant District Attorney Kim Faitella, who recommended that Mosher be locked up for three to four years, said pornographic images were discovered on Mosher’s computer by troopers assigned to the State Police Crimes Against Children Task Force in July 2011.

The computer images showed children, some as young as 8, engaged in various sex acts, Faitella said. The material seized by state police also included videos of nude children touching each other and performing sex acts.

Judge Whitehead asked Mosher if the allegations were true.

“I did it, yeah,” the defendant muttered.

Faitella rebutted the notion that possession of pornography is a “victimless crime.”

“These are real children in the videos,” she said. One video showed an 8-year-old boy being raped by another boy, she noted.

When investigators asked Mosher why he had the pornography on his computer, “He said he found it interesting,” according to Faitella.

She mentioned a federal case, in which a woman who as a child was shown in a pornographic film received restitution from those who had purchased the video.

“She said, ‘It feels like I’m being raped by each and every one of them,’” Faitella told the court.

“It’s never going to go away for these kids,” the prosecutor said of the children who appeared in the photographs and videos Mosher admitted possessing. “They’re there for the whole world to see.”

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